- Deliveries to start from early 2023
- Airline may introduce new Business Class seats to rival Singapore Airlines
Major aircraft lessor Air Lease Corporation (ALC) has inked a long term lease with Malaysia Airlines Group (MAG), the parent of Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) to supply 25 new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, with deliveries to start from early 2023 through the beginning of 2026 from ALC’s existing order book with Boeing.
According to MAG Chief Executive Captain Izham Ismail, the lease is directly tied to the restructured terms of their existing order book with Boeing.
Malaysia Airlines previously ordered 25 of the same type with rights to purchase an additional 25 aircraft directly from Boeing in 2016 in a deal worth U$5.5 billion at list price, with deliveries originally expected to start from 2019 before it was grounded worldwide due to two accidents involving the aircraft.
The fuel-efficient aircraft is expected to replace its aging Boeing 737-800 fleet which has been in operation since 2010.
It remains to be seen if Malaysia Airlines will introduce a new Business Class seat onboard it’s Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft which is capable of flying up to 9 hours. Their current narrowbody business class seats do not offer full-lie beds and are starting to look dated.
Its closest rival, Singapore Airlines, is currently in the midst of upgrading its Boeing 737 MAX 8 interior, with its business class decked with Thomson Aero Vantage seats offering full-lie bed and customized by London-based FactoryDesign.
Malaysia Airlines’ remaining Boeing long-haul fleet, the 777-200, was retired in 2016 in favor of Airbus A350-900 after suffering two hull losses within months of each other in 2014, with the final location of MH370 remains unknown up to this day and MH17 being shot down over eastern Ukraine.